Manchester City remain hot on the heels of Liverpool, Chelsea and Watford heading into the international break.
The Citizens cruised to the Premier League title last season, and their impressive form has carried over to the new campaign. City strolled to wins over Arsenal, Huddersfield and Newcastle but couldn’t find a way past Championship winners Wolves. Pep Guardiola’s side sit fourth in the table heading into the international fixtures, two points behind the league leaders.
The Spaniard has spent vast amounts of money during his spell at the club, but the £60m addition of Riyad Mahrez was his only major summer signing. Guardiola is desperate to find a long-term replacement for Fernandinho in holding midfield and had targeted Jorginho before the Italian moved to Chelsea the final hour. Surely we can expect the former Barcelona boss to continue his search when the January transfer window reopens.
One man that should be on his shortlist is Zenit St. Petersburg maestro – Leandro Paredes. Valued at £18m by Transfermarkt, the Argentine has been a crucial player for the Russian side since leaving Roma last summer for £20m. He made 27 appearances in the Russian Premier League last season as well as a further seven showings in the UEFA Europa League.
Paredes is the ideal signing to add competition to Fernadinho in the City engine room. The Argentina international would slot seamlessly into Guardiola’s passing system as he retained an 85% passing accuracy last season. The 24-year-old’s long passing is his best attribute, averaging 6.1 long balls per game last year, which would be devastating given the pace of City’s wingers. Not only does Paredes excel with the ball, but he would also offer protection to the back four, averaging 1.8 interceptions per game for Zenit (WhoScored).
Under Guardiola’s tutelage, Paredes could become a huge hit in the Premier League.
Manchester City fans, thoughts?